Madrid is a big city with an efficient metro. You can walk to some places but at the end of the day, odds are that you’ll end up using public transportation on a daily basis. The Madrid metro card works either for the Metro or the bus in the city.
What abono do I need?
First of all, abono is short for Abono de Transporte which is how Spaniards call the monthly metro card.
The Madrid Metro covers a huge part of the city, and it’s way faster than driving a car. On top of that, you won’t have to worry about traffic and parking.
Depending on your age, you might need one pass or another.
If you are under 26, you are lucky, your metro pass costs 20€ a month and all zones are included. You can even go to la Sierra de Madrid for a day trip or a hike with no additional cost. If you are over 26, I’m afraid you’ll have to pay a little more.
There are 4 zones in Madrid that go from A to E. To make a long story short A1 is the city center, B1 is a little further and the other letters follow the same premise.
You can see them in the picture below. Check where you need to go and get your Madrid metro card accordingly. You probably won’t need more than a B2 card.
How can I get the Madrid metro card (abono)?
You can either get the card online or get it through an appointment.
Getting the abono through an appointment takes no time, and you’ll walk out of the office with your card. Print and fill out the applicataion and gather all the necessary documents in advance.
Getting your metro card online will take a little longer, between 7 to 15 days. You would need a Spanish address where they can ship the card to you.
Here are the few steps you need to follow to get the abono online.
1. Click on “Quiero obtener una Tarjeta Transporte Público”
2. Choose you age range
3. Choose between your passport (pasaporte) or your national id (DNI no español) and click on “Aceptar”.
4. Select “iniciar solicitud on-line” and fill out all your personal data. Remember to write down your Spanish address so they can ship it to you.
5. Upload a passport-sized photo in color, as well as a scanned copy of your passport or ID card.
6. Click “siguiente” and pay the 4€ fee to Consorcio de Transporte.
Congratulations! your Madrid metro card is on its way!
How to charge your Metro card
It only takes a few minutes and you’ll have to do it every month before you start using the Metro.
Go to one of the ticket machines at the metro station and follow a few simple steps. There are many languages available, English among them.
I would advise not paying cash because the amount of change you get back is insane.
It’s important to get the receipt and keep it until the end of the month. I usually put it in my wallet. Metro inspectors may ask for the receipt to make sure you paid.
What can I do if I lost my Madrid metro card?
No worries, you can get a duplicate. There are two ways to duplicate your Madrid metro pass.
Online: go to this site and click on “Iniciar Solicitud de duplicado”. Fill it out, pay the 6€ fee, and you’ll get your new card within 5 days.
Important! If you do it this way, you’ll lose whatever tickets you had in your card.
At the office: Check the list of Metro stations where you can recover your Madrid abono. At these places, you can get a duplicate and also get the monthly ticket you already paid for. You’ll still have to pay the 6€ fee, but it’s faster.
Extra – I am just a tourist who wants to use the Metro – Tarjeta Multi
If you are going to spend only a few days in the city, I would recommend getting the Tarjeta Multi. It’s the best way to visit the city, whether you want to do some shopping or have some of the best Spanish tapas taking the metro will save you a lot of time.
You can get the Tarjeta Multi at any metro station ticket machine. The card is 2.5€ and then you’ll have to get whatever ticket you want.
- Single ticket: only one way.
- 10 Journey ticket: worth it if you are going to take the metro multiple times.
- Airport extra charge: required to enter or exit the airport.
- Tourist ticket: It works for one person. If you are traveling with friends or family, each person will need their own ticket.
I hope you got some useful information about getting around Madrid in public transportation.